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Dewhurst Says More DPS Officers Will Patrol Border as National Guard Goes Home

Veronica Zaragovia/KUT
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said at a Nov. 19, 2014 Capitol press conference that the Texas National Guard will leave the Texas-Mexico border by next March or April.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst says President Barack Obama's expected announcement tonight on immigration policy will do nothing more than encourage more people to try and come into Texas illegally. Lt. Gov. Dewhurst says that's why he supports boosting the number of law enforcement officers along the Texas-Mexico border.

Dewhurst says Texas will start winding down Texas National Guard operations on the border by the spring, and replace them with more Texas Department of Public Safety officers with more technology. He’s pushing for the Legislative Budget Board to approve $86 million to pay for it.

"Keep in mind we’ll have for the biennium a very robust almost $200 billion budget," he said. "If we can’t afford to protect the people of Texas, we need new leadership.

The proposed $86 million to fund the DPS surge comes from sources that include debt and bond service dollars that would expire, the Emerging Technology Fund and disaster funds.

"My hope is that at some point in the future the federal government wakes up, decides to stop sitting on their hands and replaces our activities with more Border Patrol," he said.

The Budget Board still needs to give its approval in December, and the new Legislature can vote to change the funding.

Dewhurst says since 2007, the state’s appropriated more than $800 million in Texas tax revenue to secure the border.

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